What were we talking about again? December 22, 2003 7:28 PM   Subscribe

I'm a big fan of IraqFilter, but when we post new developments like this thread by Postroad, can we provide a little direction about what's supposed to be discussed? Perhaps it might lessen the flamewars/snarkyness that ensues. [more inside]
posted by Happydaz to Bugs at 7:28 PM (7 comments total)

First of all, this should be in etiquette, not bugs. sorry, it got messed up when i was trying to preview. Postroad, I'm not trying to pick on you, I just feel the post would have been more useful if you'd provided some direction. As it is, the tone is : "share your outrage now, or agree with the article." Or perhaps I'm wrong. Be merciful, it's my first MeTa post.
posted by Happydaz at 7:30 PM on December 22, 2003

Let's see, this is an even Monday, thus: "MeFi is not a discussion site, so why the need for direction?"

Tomorrow is an odd Tuesday on which days MeFi *IS* a discussion site, therefore wait until then to ask.
posted by mischief at 8:30 PM on December 22, 2003

we know that many iraqfilter posters will not read the link before wading in swinging, so it's pretty important to convey the link's whole jist clearly and up front, and not wave red flags like "bush" and "france" before you even get into whatever it is you're talking about.
posted by hob at 9:19 PM on December 22, 2003

I think I should write a little PHP post generation script that inserts random MeFi buzzwords like: Iraq, Bush, France, Howard Dean, Simpsons, NSFW, or anything else that might start a flamewar. Such as: Bush and Howard Dean's NSFW site!!!!

posted by woil at 10:31 PM on December 22, 2003

Two quick observations:
  1. The only thing I love more than Iraqfilter posts are Meta posts about Iraqfilter posts.
  2. Try typing "iraqfilter" into your browser's location bar (or Google) and see where it takes you; you might be surprised.
Just out of curiosity, could you point to a specific example of a good Iraq thread where this strategy actually worked? It's seemed to me that these posts are 90% doomed to be snarkfests just based on the subject matter, but I'd love to be proven wrong. Maybe a better guideline would be "If you're going to make a post related to Iraq, please reconsider"; I know I've heard that somewhere before.
posted by boaz at 11:56 PM on December 22, 2003

Boaz: I'd love to prove you wrong. I spent half an hour today looking at posts with "Iraq" in the header. Couldn't find a single example of a post with solid direction about what's supposed to be discussed. Sigh. I think playing in the green grasses of AskMe has made me a bit too optomistic for how we expect our blue-clad friends over in MeFi to behave. But that doesn't mean it can't start!
posted by Happydaz at 6:37 PM on December 23, 2003

A lot of it is just how the debate plays out regardless of the initial post. If it's good/bad news, an opposing post won't claim that the news is really bad/good; he'll claim that even though this news is good/bad, because of reasons X, Y and Z (which are at this point pretty constant on both the bad and good sides), the war in Iraq overall is still bad/good. And just like that we're back to having the exact same discussion that we've had a thousand times before. That's a legitimate problem, but I don't think the opposing will be dissuaded as easily as you hope. It seems more likely that "providing solid direction" would just translate to "pushing an agenda" to people who disagree with the poster.
posted by boaz at 8:14 AM on December 24, 2003

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